We're Using Way More Paper Than We Ever Have Before

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Illustration for article titled We're Using Way More Paper Than We Ever Have Before

Apparently human beings are still Tree Enemy Number One, sneaking past beavers and termites. In fact, if you are reading this in America, you personally killed 5.57 40-foot trees last year thanks to all of your paper usage. But don't feel too bad: Belgians consumed a whopping 8.5 trees per person, which is like taking four Rockefeller Center Christmas trees and setting them on fire.

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According to The Economist, worldwide paper consumption has increased by half in the last 30 years, a puzzling development for an era when "paperless" and "green" are as buzzy as words can get. You'd think that with the rise of computers, iPads and smartphones that paper consumption would shrink, but apparently humans are still ripping down spruces and pines at an alarming rate. So save a tree—buy a Kindle. [The Economist]

DISCUSSION

hawkeye18
hawkeye18

I blame the military. We've been in a "Paperless Navy" for over a decade now, and literally today I had to fax a page to a unit. A FREAKIN' FAX. That means that, instead of 0 sheets of paper used in a goddamn email, I used 2 - one to print the damn thing out, and 1 for them to print it out.

The best part was, they seemed flabbergasted to learn that not every home in America has a fax machine any more. The military: Perpetually stuck in 1993.